Perhaps it’d make sense that the warm reception of this album was what finally compelled me to break down and listening to Ariana Grande, after mostly feeling indifferent about her. But, that’s not quite the case. I listened to Grande’s 2018 album Sweetener, and liked it just fine, but it didn’t really stand out that much from your typical Top 40 stuff. Not that there’s much that stands out from most Top 40-oriented music enough for me to want to listen to 40 minutes worth of it from one artist. Continue reading
“What do you want me to do?” asks Bob Mould on his latest album Sunshine Rock. My answer: “whatever the hell you want”. Bob Mould owes rock fans absolutely nothing at this point. He helped give the world the blueprint for alternative rock with his first band Hüsker Dü, perfected straight-up alternative rock with his band Sugar’s Copper Blue album, and then has gone through a bit of a resurgence with some of the best, most pure music of his career in the 2010’s. And yet, the man still delivers. Continue reading
William Tyler’s last album of contemplative instrumental country/folk, Modern Country, has surely ended up being one of my most listened to albums of the past few years. This is because Tyler’s brand of spacey, unobtrusive guitar work is very easy to put on in the background when you’re working/writing, which I often find myself doing. Now, I’m not sure that that makes for the best music to actually write about, but I guess we’ll see what I can come up with… Continue reading
I am almost always skeptical when an indie rock artist decides to make their “dance-pop record”. I am also almost always wrong about this skepticism. With Remind Me Tomorrow, the latest release from this typically guitar-based singer-songwriter, I had an inkling that once again I’d be eating my words in regards to this slight sonic reinvention. Because late last year, Sharon Van Etten released the fantastic single “Comeback Kid”, a song that is weirdly catchy and anthemic, yet still has that undercurrent of regret and melancholy that seems to run through all of Van Etten’s music. Continue reading
Mint Field are a shoegaze/dream pop/not quite Sigur Ros-style band from Tiajuanna who put our the debut album in February of this year. And it’s a super February album, with lush, vast soundscapes apparently written to express the hopelessness that is such a part of the public consciousness today. At least, that’s how it makes me feel, which meant this album left my mind for a while and recently reappeared in my rotation as the skies got dark and cold again these last couple months.
Before Robyn came back, I had Dessa. She’s a rapper, part of the collective Doomtree, who branched out a little bit with her latest solo album, Chime. It’s a cool record that blends fiery and wordplay-heavy hip hop with slower, poppier songs to build an overall narrative about a woman who is angry, conflicted, anxious, confused, and all the other emotions that capture our current climate.
Big Red Machine is one of those albums that definitely seemed like it would make my top 10 list until I actually started making the list. Maybe it still will, I’ve got another week to sort it out. But in case it doesn’t, here’s a little blurb about an album that seemed made for me.